An Auckland hairdresser is facing a barrage of criticism on Facebook after it refused to cut a child's hair unless her mother got a haircut herself at the same time.
Stacey Paul took four-year-old her daughter Shelby to Bogaart's Styling Lounge for a quick cut on Thursday ahead of a family wedding, Stuff reports.
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Ms Paul said the salon was normally expensive, but she took Shelby there whenever she needed a haircut because it did a good job.
But, on Thursday, the salon's receptionist told her there was a new policy in place and she would have to get a $75-$95 cut herself before they would cut Shelby's hair.
Ms Paul walked out of the salon with her daughter in hand and the little girl started crying once she reached the car park.
"I didn't think it had affected my daughter that much but when I was buckling her into the car seat I could see her eyes were all welling up with tears... she started sobbing," she told Stuff.
"So I got her out of the car and gave her a big cuddle, we were right outside the shop so they must have seen us."
NZME reports Ms Paul then posted her displeasure at the new policy on the salon's Facebook page, where she was met with indifference.
"We value or great customer service and value our wonderful clients and we do look after children in our salon of clients that are also clients. It was a joint team stylist decision," the salon said.
"If a parent/caregiver goes to another salon to have their hair done, we ask why don't you take your children there?"
It appears the post has since been deleted.
Irate customers have flooded the page to criticise the salon, as well as several referring to an image posted by the salon after the controversy began that made fun of how difficult it is to cut a child's hair.
Store owner Angela Bogaart told Stuff the salon aims for "high fashion work" and stylists preferred more lucrative jobs.
"Instead of putting out a blanket ban on children we decided we'd provide child haircuts for existing members... to keep that family atmosphere," she said.
"And at the end of the day, we shouldn't have to justify or be vilified for policies we put in place."